Transmission Shifting Hard From 1st to 2nd

Transmission Shifting Hard From 1st to 2nd: Reasons & Solutions

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One of the problems you are likely to encounter as you drive your car is difficulty in shifting from 1st to 2nd transmission system. It’s a problem that is common to most automatic cars.

The difficulties sometimes have nothing to do with the gears. In most cases, it’s usually other things that you can easily identify and get fixed.

In this article, we will share with you the top reason and solutions that would lead to difficulties in transmission change.

Reasons & Solution For Hard Transmission shifting

The following are the major causes of difficult transmission from 1st to 2nd gear. These problems need immediate and simple fixing to bring transmission performance to be normal.

1.    Contaminated Fluid

One of the major cause of transmission lag is contaminations in the transmission fluid. When the fluid is clean, you should expect the transmission to be perfect without any delay.


If you have difficulties in transmission shifting, start by inspecting the transmission fluid. Check whether it’s clean.

Clean transmission fluid is pellucid with the original colour that depends on its original manufacturing company.

Most of the transmission fluids have a greenish, bluish, reddish, or yellowish colour.

Once you find that the fluid is contaminated change it, this is the best thing you can since you can’t clean transmission fluid.

Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX is the best transmission oil you will find in the market. Buy it and replace it with the contaminated fluid in your car transmission.

2.    Low Fluid Level

Another reason why it’s difficult to shift transmission from 1st to 2nd is that you have a low fluid level in the gasket.

For a smooth and effective transmission, there should be enough fluid to ease and lubricate transmission on the gears.

So, as you inspect your transmission fluid check whether it’s in the desired levels, do this by inserting a stick in the fluid chamber and check the length covered by the oil.


There is only one solution to this problem. Just refill the transmission fluid.

Also, inspect and see if there are any damages to the fluid chamber. Check for leakages on the gasket or shaft seal. Inspect and ensure no damage could lead to fluid leakages.

And if you find any damage, the best thing you need to do is repair and ensure there are no further leakages.

3.    Clutch System For Manual CarsClutch System For Manual Cars

The role of a clutch system in a vehicle is to engage and disengage power for effective transmission. When you pus the clutch pedal, it transmits pressure to the clutch master cylinder to bring the car into neutral and prevent power transmission. This allows manual gear shifting.

However, if the class release and master cylinder are leaking or damaged, shifting gears becomes very difficult. This is because it causes a loss of fluid pressure. As a result, you don’t get enough pressure to disengage and engage in manual transmission.


If you notice this to be the problem, we recommend that you take your car to a qualified mechanic to fix the problem. A skilled mechanic will access the damage and recommend the best solution. It could be changing the clutch master cylinder or fixing any leakage.

4.    Malfunctioning Sensorstransmission shifting hard from 1st to 2nd

Cars are becoming automated. Everything is now controlled by computers that receive signals and instructs your car what it’s supposed to do.

But all these technological advancements come with their own challenges. And one of the challenges is the malfunctioning of sensors.

An automatic gear transmitter comes with sensors that help in gear transmissions.

They work by receiving and sending signals. And if the transmission mechanism fails, you will get an entire car problem.


The sensor problem is not something you can deal with at home alone. You need to get help from a professional who can fix the sensor problem and give your car the best performance.

5.    Adaptive Transmission Issues

Automatic cars use sensors to monitor and adapt to your driving habits. They check your transmission fluid condition and driving patterns to set car operations to standard performance.

When you change your driving habits or transmission fluid, your car will be set in the previous habits. At this point, you will encounter difficulties shifting from 1st to 2nd transmission.


To fix this problem, you need to take your car to a skilled mechanic who will reset the transmission. Again, there is less you can do to solve this problem unless you are a professional mechanic.

6.    Cold Weather

Extremely cold temperatures are one of the major reasons you will encounter issues with transmission of your car.

When temperatures are low, the temperature of the fluid also goes low and thickens. This is a common problem if you don’t buy high-quality fluid.

When the fluid thickens, it makes it difficult to change the transmission.


Buy quality transmission fluid. Look for fluids which are resistant to temperature changes. Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX is the best transmission fluid that won’t thicken in low temperatures. Click here to check it’s the latest price and buy it now for your car.

7.    Transmission Vacuum Modulator Problem

A vacuum modulator is an empty pipe that maintains a vacuum inside a transmission system. Its role is to measure the workload amount your engine faces.

This is done when gear exerts pressure over the valves of the combustion cylinder. The pressure is then transferred to the modulators to shift the gear.

So, if the modulator has a problem, it doesn’t exert enough pressure to shift the gear. It makes transmission difficult.


Change any broken or warped vacuum line. You can let a professional mechanic do this job on your behalf.

Read Also: How to Remove Ignition Lock Cylinder Without Key

Parting Shot

When you notice difficulties in transmission shifting, don’t force it. It’s a sign of a problem in the shifting system. If you force it, you will likely cause a bigger problem.

We recommend that you inspect your car and try to identify the problem. If it’s something you are confident in solving on your own, go ahead and do it. However, if you don’t have the confidence of skills, take your car to a skilled mechanic.

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